Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran describes a scraggly hill across the street that the children called Roxaboxen. The sandy hill was littered with wooden boxes, ocotillo plants, and cactus, but in the minds of the children who played there it was a magical place. For the children, Roxaboxen was a town with white stone-lined streets, a town hall, and ice cream shops. There were cars, and a jail, fierce wars between boys and girls, and plenty of stick horses. Roxaboxen was a hill in the desert, but it was also a place that lived on for a lifetime in the memories of the children who played there. In hues that evoke the desert landscape, artist Barbara Cooney captures the power of imagination and the magic of Alice McLerran’s story of Roxaboxen — a place that was real and always will be.

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